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Tidyco Ltd Unit 2 Pentagon Island Nottingham Road Derby DE21 6BW United Kingdom T: + @44 (0) 1332 851 300 E: marketing@tidyco.co.uk www.tidyco.co.uk www.tidyco.co.uk/store www.portals.tidyco.co.uk

IoE


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IoE v.0.2

Here, Barry Aldridge MCIM Head of Marketing for Tidyco and member of the Board of Directors for Rail Forum East Midlands shares his personal experience with robotics, M2M, IoT and IoE. I am fortunate to be surrounded by amazingly wonderful people within my rail industry endeavours. On Thursday 29th March 2018, I sat down with Lucy Prior whereby conversations excitedly moved towards IoT. I tend to manoeuvre between two common phrases; IoT (Internet of Things) and IoE (Internet of Everything). Once regarded as a bit of a ‘buzz’, the concept is becoming more accepted as it gains increasing relevance within everyday life. Lucy understands precisely how enthusiastic I feel about this particular topic and whilst enjoying lunch together, posed three questions so as to be published in Rail Professional magazine. It is fair to say that the meeting ignited my imagination! Later that evening, I messaged Lucy and told her of a digital innovation that I had designed back in 2015. Lucy enthusiastically encouraged me to tell my story. #Origins As a young person, I was incredibly fortunate. I enjoyed writing, illustration and computer software. From an early age I knew that I would attend art and design school so as to become a graphic designer. However, education did not come for free and I found myself in a position where becoming qualified required self funding. Living in a small Midlands-based market town founded upon the hosiery industry witnessed many evenings, Weekends and holidays spent working within various local factories so as to finance my studies. I remember one particular tea break whereby a colleague was telling me about a wonderful career spent within the West Midlands car manufacturing industry. Young and inquisitive, I asked why he now worked for a hosiery company. “Robots!” 2

It was 1995


“The robots took our jobs from us and we were all laid off! They are faster, more accurate and the company doesn’t have to pay them!” Whilst M2M was quite clearly very active within the automotive industry, the internet hadn’t quite yet exploded into what it is today. It was to be some time before IoT and robotics would become a widely understood subject. I graduated in 2000, became a graphic designer and continue to use traditional training within current working practices. It was some five years later that I was introduced to the marketing profession, agitating a decision to return to college so as to obtain a CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing) qualification.

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Our Journey

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Fast forward to the 5th November 2015 (an easy date to remember)! It was on this day that I attended the 2015 Digital Expo organised by the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce. Amy-Kate of Microsoft introduced me to the world of IoT via the practical demonstration of a wearable device and recording of real-time data onto a cloud based platform accessible by any internet connected machine throughout the world. Feeling inspired, I diligently researched the subject matter in far greater detail. A great book to read is ‘Industries of the Future’ by Alec Ross. It explains IoE, the digital explosion and robotics in an easy to understand fashion. At the time, my work was involved within the facilities management industry, providing UK field based marketing support to a national network of franchised commercial cleaning companies as well as domestic and commercial insurance related restoration response claims. A large aspect of the job role was to update localised CMS (Content Management Systems) and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) accordingly so as to increase website traffic, online enquiries as well as conversion rates. Presenting statistics and analytical reports to the franchised commercial network did my talking for me; I was exceptionally gifted within the art of digital marketing. When an opportunity arose to reply to a tender asking for a digital solution for a national insurance procurement exercise; I was the obvious candidate! Filled with great enthusiasm and knowledge, I was keen to provide support. Throughout the tender process a digital solution based upon IoT was developed. Ultimately, I designed an app that was capable of making a remote claim in real time. The 2015 Digital Expo had opened my mind to the digital explosion without which, the real time app concept would never have seen the light of day. Looking back, it was simplistic in nature. The insurance company would supply customers with an app whereby as and when a claim was required they could contact the service providers support desk directly via their device. The app itself had dual camera display so as to live stream the property damage to head office whilst simultaneously providing the desktop validator with visual evidence regarding personal identity. The additional GPS functionality helped to eliminate fraudulent claims even further. 4


Of course, the digital solution eliminated the need for on-site validation thus, dramatically reducing cost and carbon footprint as well as speeding up the entire claims process for the customer. Understandably, traditional claims processes still needed to be made available so as to accommodate consumers unwilling, unable or quite simply, far too afraid to embrace such technology. Just a few weeks ago, I was attending Weekend school in Birmingham towards a CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing) Level 7 Postgraduate in Marketing Leadership. The subject of innovation was introduced to the class and I felt it appropriate to explain my digital concept to the room and ask if this had indeed, been an innovation. Jack Roberts replied that I had disrupted an entire market and dramatically changed the way things are done for the better. This was innovation in its purest form. I feel proud of this.

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Our Journey

marketing@tidyco.co.uk | www.tidyco.co.uk | 01332 851 300


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In order for innovation to truly succeed, you need a support network. I actively seek like minded collaborators. #RobotCleaner None of this is exactly new. It was around June 2015 that I met with CJ Micallef so as to plan a localised marketing strategy. CJ was great and fully understood my passion for technology. One particular creative thought sharing process involved the possibility of automated robotic cleaning. I told CJ that I had come across footage from 1990 whereby Manchester Airport had deployed the services of a robot cleaner for its open space hard floor areas. Coincidentally, as this conversation was being held we were both standing outside Manchester Airport watching planes take off and land! The creativity flowed! Furthermore, a new range of automated, IoT enabled robotic cleaners had recently been launched to an international market! My mind was racing towards the future and CJ knew it! #DigitalDisruptors I absolutely LOVE the phrase #DigitalDisruptors It was Lucy Prior who hash tagged it to me in a LinkedIn message! I ‘thought share’ a great deal and am not afraid to do so. Innovation is an interesting word. I hear this word an awful lot. The majority of SMEs that I encounter claim to be innovative but, what does this actually mean? To disrupt an entire market, maybe? The digital landscape presents a plethora of opportunities to help make innovation happen. We are all going to hear a great deal about market and digital disruptors. Business models are rapidly changing whereby empowering employees encourages great things! 6


#TheBrandStory discusses in great detail what it is to make a business (of any size) truly innovative, diverse, inclusive and creative. Importantly, a modern day brand can quite easily be built with minimal expense. Further down the line, I suspect that we will see more and more new business start ups implementing technology in a way that has previously never been done. There is a very meaningful reason as to why I work within the rail industry. The industry at large values me, wills me to succeed and allows me to communicate ideas freely. Individually as well as collectively, we need to be given the freedom to share ideas so as to make innovative, creative and progressive change. Creative and innovative people should be embraced. Your business, industry or sector quite possibly describes us as either market or digital disruptors. Sometimes we are one or the other whilst at other times; we are both. But; we do exist and we are making progressive change. Collaboration and inclusivity is crucial here. This may all sound incredibly dramatic but it really isn’t. There is a collective group of people passionately working towards embracing technology so as to improve systems, processes, the environment and human life.

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Our Journey

marketing@tidyco.co.uk | www.tidyco.co.uk | 01332 851 300


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#CurrentTrends The robots are amongst us… And they like to chat! Enter the chatbots! A lot has changed for me since the 5th November 2015. It was around this time that I was seeking my next career opportunity and was becoming both enticed as well as head hunted by the rail industry. I wanted more. I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to feel valued. Just recently, I attended the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce 2018 Digital Expo. Unsure if it would ignite my imagination quite on the same scale as the 2015 event, I am pleased to announce that I was proved wrong! Interestingly, I have made some fantastic friends within both the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce as well as D2N2 initiative. Paul Ince was exceptional. I had been thinking for some time about ramping up the gears regarding marketing automation. Paul’s discussion about chatbots was undeniably comical whilst equally super intelligent! Shortly after the event, I connected with Paul on LinkedIn and expressed a desire to integrate chatbots to the Tidyco online Live Chat application. Not an easy task but, Tidyco is thinking down the line. The store sells 300,000 plus product lines to a global audience whereby online live chats are incredibly technical by nature. There is no simple automated response solution, here. Paul and I are currently investigating ways to make this technology work so as to increase efficiency and productivity within the internal office environment. I recently encountered a rather humorous incident when talking to a chatbot whereby it apologised profusely and admitted that it was not very good at answering this kind of ‘stuff’! Chatbot technology still has a way to go! 8


#TheFuture I believe that SMEs are well placed to make rapid change regarding IoE evolution. As an example; in April 2017, Tidyco became accredited with the Government fuelled Cyber Essentials certification ensuring that all systems were as robust as possible and that data was as protected as could be. Coincidentally, just a few weeks later the world was crippled by the WannaCry attack, proving just how real and tangible the threat is to businesses of all sizes. Whilst media attention was drawn to the NHS, the discussions I was having with professionals at the time revealed that the impact was far wider reaching whereby a staggering number of SMEs had also been devastatingly penetrated. According to the Federation of Small Businesses, SMEs accounted for 99.3% of all private limited businesses at the start of 2017. When considering this statistic it becomes abundantly clear how critical it is for SMEs to keep up to speed with digital threats. Consider for a moment just how much commercially sensitive and personal data is contained within this percentage of companies. I am focussing on cyber crime and cyber defence because as more and more apps, online platforms, machines and devices become connected, the issue will only become considerably more poignant.

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Our Journey

marketing@tidyco.co.uk | www.tidyco.co.uk | 01332 851 300


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The Norse Attack Map demonstrates in real time exactly how terrifying and active global cyber crime truly is. Often overlooked are corporate websites. Most companies are using a CMS (Content Management System) of some guise, complete with customer enquiry forms whereby the CMS platform stores some potentially sensitive information such as; nature of enquiry, name, address, contact details, etc. Typically this information then feeds back to internal office based CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platforms. Reflecting upon the Norse Attack Map empowers an understanding as to how many malicious attempts at corporate websites are taking place on an on-going basis. Furthermore, a great deal of hacking is automated, benefiting from ai technology capable of learning at a much faster pace than the human mind. Does it not seem prudent to make your company’s website and data contained within it as secure as possible? An incredibly popular CMS platform is WordPress. Regular users know that to gain access to the back end so as to add content, you are required to type in your businesses web address, for example: www. companywebsite.co.uk which is then followed by a default /wp-admin ‘slug’. By simply modifying /wp-admin to something far more secure, you will make a quick and easy change whilst dramatically enhancing security. There are many online tutorials to guide you through this rather simple process. Of course, there is a varied choice of CMS products available to the market that all have similar default admin urls. This neat little security adjustment can be applied to most. So, why not do it? I am both fortunate to work for Tidyco and the company is equally fortunate to have me. I am tech savvy and fully understand the necessity to implement cyber security throughout the organisation. I explained to James Tidy – Managing Director the need for change whereby the project was swiftly authorised. I very quickly built an army of stakeholders consisting of; web developer, external security and Cyber Essentials accreditation company, IT supplier, website hosting company and... Off we went! After an upgrade to all IT systems, overhaul of the corporate site to a personally more preferable CMS platform further bolstered by updating all security certificates and operating systems, Tidyco was as cyber protected as could be! It didn’t take very long at all. 10


I felt it so important to address cyber defence and data protection that the subject matter was incorporated into the Tidyco CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) policy manual. If you are unsure as to how cyber secure your business genuinely is, I passionately advise employing the services of an external security company so as to run a remote penetration test. My objective was to be pro-active as opposed to re-active. If an SME or indeed, large corporation is intending to integrate IoE within operating procedures then cyber security should be at the forefront of all strategic planning. Writings also discuss collaboration with the DIT and the Far East market. IoE really has opened doors to international trade. The Tidyco online store supplies a staggering 300,000 plus hydraulic and pneumatic parts to a global market place. As you can imagine, there is an incredible sum of data working tirelessly in the background. The store itself (a separate digital entity to the corporate blog site) is completely hard coded so as not to rely on CMS e-commerce plugins prone to data breach. Importantly, all Tidyco online platforms have up-to-date HTTPS SSL certifications.

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marketing@tidyco.co.uk | www.tidyco.co.uk | 01332 851 300


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I believe in collaborating with stakeholders and enjoy many positive relationships with the Rail Alliance, Rail Forum East Midlands (of which I am a Director and SME Ambassador), Marketing Derby, D2N2, East Midlands Chamber of Commerce as well as the DIT (Department for International Trade). I recently attended an international e-commerce workshop expertly delivered by Charlie Ruigrok of the DIT, held within close proximity of the National Space Centre; this was a really cool location! Charlie opened my mind to the Far East market, inspiring me to investigate differences in culture even further. Recalling Industries of the Future I remembered a statement given by Alec Ross which totally blew my mind. Many parts of the Far East believe that every object has a soul. This is a belief founded upon 2000 years of religious worship. Robotic advancement has come about due mainly to a Far East explosion of elderly and vulnerable with not enough younger human carers available to accommodate for its ageing population. To view a robot as an entity with a soul empowers a much more accepting mind set. Many Western cultures struggle with the concept. Charlie’s teachings showed me that China alone spends £497 billion a year in online transactions. This figure is set to grow, rapidly. Further investigation revealed that China has its own APM (Alternative Payment Model) of which I was surprised to learn, is far bigger than PayPal. The Chinese Government is strict with regards to online and social media activity whereby a threat to western market entry consists of the Great Firewall of China. A preferred Chinese payment app is Alipay. IoE comes heavily into play here, as Alipay is powered by a very human (everything) consumer demand with the physical transaction being undertaken through the integration of both an APM as well as device (thing). Tidyco product codes are universal and enjoy a great deal of success in ‘organic’ search engine listings. Despite this, important to realise is that the Chinese search engine of choice is Baidu. As such, Tidyco has implemented all necessary SEO for the Chinese market. I took the decision to task my web developer with integrating Alipay and Baidu SEO within the Tidyco store. I have recently been busy submitting Tidyco websites to Baidu so as to gain Far East visibility. 12


Not forgetting social media, Tidyco marketing function has recently ensured that the company LinkedIn page is translated into every conceivable international language so that no matter where a person is in the world, they are not denied the opportunity of reading and engaging with company content. The Tidyco corporate website has also been professionally translated into relevant international languages. I was quite young when the first digital explosion took place and feel as though I have ‘grown up’ with it. Interestingly, traditional typography and graphic design training lends itself incredibly well to topical social media communication. Sure, the robots are here and evolving very quickly but; I personally do not believe that it is all doom and gloom for the human species. Regarding the future? Whilst attending the 2018 Digital Expo, I was fortunate to meet with Leicester UK based Mo Bro’s. Mo Bro’s is a wonderful example of a modern business model reaping the benefits of IoE.

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marketing@tidyco.co.uk | www.tidyco.co.uk | 01332 851 300


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There is gargantuan potential for micro businesses to enjoy substantial reward from IoE integration. IoE has the potential to provide considerable environmental benefits whereby SMART homes will make the world a much greener place to live. Great opportunities exist within the transport sector. I envisage the rail industry within which I work to face substantially positive digital disruptions in the very near future. I will more than likely be a part of it‌ Cognitive computing will also become increasingly important. In 2003, I wrote and illustrated a series of comic books and made them available online. At the time, CMS did not exist whereby I had to learn HTML so as to hard code my own website prior to using FTP technology so as to publish to the world. Technology has come a long way. There are further news stories in the pipeline regarding Tidyco and its relationship with M2M, IoT, IoE and Industry 4.0. Keep thinking, keep innovating and keep applying IoE. Exciting times ahead‌

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Our Journey

marketing@tidyco.co.uk | www.tidyco.co.uk | 01332 851 300


Join our journey and socialise with Tidyco Ltd

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IoE v.0.2  

Here, Barry Aldridge Head of Marketing discusses I.0E.

IoE v.0.2  

Here, Barry Aldridge Head of Marketing discusses I.0E.

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